China’s ever-growing automotive market has became such a boon for a lot of automakers that concept vehicles that would otherwise be introduced in auto shows like Frankfurt or Geneva are already making their way to either Beijing or Shanghai.
For their part, Audi is bringing one of these concepts to the 2012 Beijing Auto Show: the 2013 Audi RS Q3 Concept. This concept serves as a response to some Audi drivers that just needed a little more “umph.”
The RS Q3 Concept is a fresh look at what an RS-badged Q3 crossover could look like and since Audi has just released the Q3, it appears that we won’t have to wait long to see a production model soon.
As for the concept itself, the RS Q3 Concept looks hot in its blue-and-black color scheme. As an RS model, Audi also added several RS elements to the concept’s overall look, including a black honeycomb grille, tinted headlights, a new bumper with graping air intakes, and a new set of 20" aluminum wheels. The RS Q3 is planned to borrow the same 2.5-liter engine from the Audi TT RS, so getting that little extra something should be simple for Audi lovers.
Unfortunately, the Q3 will not arrive in the U.S. until later in 2012, and the RS Q3 has yet to be mentioned in the same breath as the U.S. With the growing love for crossovers here, it may become a possibility. Also the fact that the TT RS finally made its way here greatly increases the chances of us U.S. buyers seeing the RS Q3. So let’s have a look at the upcoming RS Q3’s information, courtesy of Audi’s latest press release.
Find out more about the Audi RS Q3 Concept after the jump.
When students design a vehicle, name it after a Japanese ice skater, and then claim it will see the production line soon, it’s likely that the masses will point and laugh as they crumble up the press release and toss it in the trash. This is similar to what happened in 2009 when students from Tongya University put together the Tong Jian S11, a patched up hybrid sports car with Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Audi highlights. Now, the folks over at JAC Motors are taking the design study a little more seriously, and bringing it to the 2012 Beijing Auto Show to boot.
Take a look at the JAC Motors S11 and check out the Lamborghini -inspired front end, the Ferrari rear end look-a-like, and the Audi R8 side sills. Can a copy and paste jigsaw puzzle make it as a true contender in the sports car market? Taking out our old-school Magic 8-Ball, we’d have to go with Very Doubtful, and the odds don’t improve when it comes to the engine either.
The JAC Motors S11 isn’t powered by some exclusive engine that will make up for the "borrowed" exterior elements. It will feature a gasoline-electric hybrid powerplant that doesn’t deliver a substantial amount of power, although specific figures have not been released yet.
So why did JAC Motors create the S11? We’re guessing it’s just because they can. We just don’t see any other reason, but maybe they’ll surprise us when the new S11 hits the Beijing Auto Show floor.
Ferrari is celebrating its 20th anniversary on the Chinese market with the introduction of a special edition 458 Italia. This new edition will be limited to only 20 units and since it will be exclusively offered in China, will be characterized by unique Chinese elements. The 458 Italia will be finished in a brand new color called Marco Polo Red specially developed for this exclusive car.
Since this is the "Year of the Dragon," the car’s livery was inspired by the longma theme which is an old Chinese idiom which means "the vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse." These elements include a golden dragon on the front bonnet, which is offset by gold and black livery stripes symbolizing a racing track.
The golden dragon is combined with a gold finish for the rims and the aeroelastic winglets. On the interior, this special edition adds gold embroidery on the car’s head rests, while the engine start button on each of the 20 cars is inscribed with the simplified Chinese characters for "start." Each unit will also receive a "20th Anniversary Special Edition" plaque in the dash.
UPDATE 06/19/12: For a super car that costs over $200,000 in standard guise, people will have to pay quite a premium in order to get hands on the 458 Italia China Special Edition. How much, you ask? Try 5.588 million yuan. When converted, that’s around $880,000 or €700,000 based on current exchange rates. Yikes.
China’s political party has been under fire recently with news of Bo Xilai getting the old heave ho after trying to remove the police chief from his position during a corruption investigation involving Xilai’s family. The internet with bezerk with the news and social media just hasn’t been the same in Asia. In fact, transfer of power in the Communist party is scheduled to be done in Fall 2012 and government officials are worried that this uproar will rock the boat way too much to do so.
Now, another incident has sparked the Chinese population’s interest in political unbalance. Early Sunday morning, a man was driving his Ferrari 458 at high speeds when he crashed in Beijing, splitting his car in two. The man died and the two women in the vehicle were severely injured. So far, this amounts to another tragic accident involving a superior sports car, but people in China are taking it even more seriously. Turns out, the internet went abuzz with rumors that the driver of the vehicle was a son of a senior communist party official, adding even more concern over the faltering balance in government. A story in the New York Times takes it a bit further by stating that Bo Xilai’s son, Guagua, actually drives a red Ferrari.
Blogs, websites, and search engines were being so heavily crowded with intrigue that any and all information surrounding the crash was removed from the internet altogether, as was the capability of searching for anything Ferrari-related.
A son of a political official driving a Ferrari raises a few question on its own. Some may wonder how a civil servant could afford to buy his son such a pricey sports car, while others may just get angry at the fact that government officials can afford these types of luxuries when others are stricken with poverty. When you throw in the minor detail that the son of an official who was being investigated for corruption drives a car like the one in question, then all hell is bound to break loose.
We’ll stay on top of the story and relay any details as soon as we get them.
The market for armored cars isn’t as prevalent as some of its contemporaries so it’s no secret that of the few automakers that provide this kind of high-security service, one of our favorites is Dartz.
These guys have a long history of building some of the most unique armored cars you’ll ever come across, and their latest offering strikes those same very chords. Limited only to the Chinese market, the Prombron Black Dragon is as imposing and intimidating as its name sounds.
Similar to what Rolls-Royce did when it built the Year of the Dragon Phantom, the Prombron Black Dragon is being built as an homage to the Chinese calendar. As you can expect from Dartz, these guys know how to bling their vehicles like nobody’s business and the Prombron Black Dragon, with all the scattered diamonds, rubies, and gold motifs, is yet another sparkling example of Dartz’s affinity for fancy customizations.
In addition to all the bling, the Prombron Black Dragon also features a 3+1 door configuration, an additional 23" in length to provide more legroom, satellite television, mobile WiFi, a 42" LCD monitor, and electrochromic glass just in case you’re going to need some privacy.
According to Dartz, only 12 models of the Prombron Black Dragon are expected to be built with one model expected to fetch a ridiculous price tag of $7 million.
Hey, if you wanna roll around town in a diamond-studded, armored SUV, you better have that kind of moolah to pony up.
Back when supercars were just a mere figment of one’s imagination, the way to get around was to hop on a train and wait out the trip. Airplanes and cars traveling on high developed roadways have knocked traveling on a train down a few pegs, but that may be about to change. Chinese train manufacturer, CSR Corp Ltd., has launched a super speedy train whose top speed has clocked in at 500 km/h or 310 mph!
The train consists of six cars that are made of plastic materials "reinforced with carbon fiber" and was designed to look like an ancient sword. It delivers a total of 22,800 kilowatts of power, or about 30,575 HP! This project is part of China’s trillion dollar effort to build 8,078 miles of high-speed rail network by 2012, and about 12,427 miles by 2020.
CSR isn’t the only one developing these high speed machines either. Identical projects include the development of a maglev train by Southwest Jiaotong University, the Tokyo to Osaka bullet train planned for 2045, and the proposed 269 mph maglev train from Anaheim to Las Vegas.
We are actually surprised that these high speed trains are even leaving the drawing board at all. These ongoing projects were almost forced to a halt when former Railways Ministry chief, Liu Zhijun, was canned after cashing in on $122 million. This was then followed with collision back in July between two high-speed trains in Wenzhou. This incident ended up killing at least 40 people and injuring another 210. With China using low-quality materials to build the tracks, and subsequently, the trains having a higher chance of derailing, causing the top speed to be dropped from 218 mph to 186 mph, it seemed as though the railway system in China was on its way out the door.
These new high speed trains have proven, however, that the railway system is very much alive, and gaining speed.
The Chinese automotive market is growing bigger by the day and automakers everywhere are taking advantage of this growing market by throwing a number of special editions their way. One type of vehicle that is ripping through the streets of China is the super car. Anything from Ferrari to Pagani to Lamborghini is making its way over to the land of Dragons and Emperors, and this video was created to show off a number of these vehicles.
Improbable as it may sound, Bugatti has somehow upstaged the already limited run Bugatti Veyron Super Sport with a special edition version of the very supercar. A special edition of a special edition, you ask?
That appears to be the case with the unveiling of the latest special edition Veyron Super Sport called the "Edition Merveilleux." The car, it turns out, was commissioned specifically for a 40-year old dude in China that goes by the name of "Simon." Details behind the Veyron Super Sport Edition Merveilleux were not disclosed, although there’s a video of the car with all of Bugatti’s top brass, including CEO Wolfgang Durheimer, rolling out the one-off Veyron Super Sport. From the looks of things, Simon’s new ride features an un-painted carbon fiber exterior with matching blacked-out alloy wheels and a bright blue interior finish.
The video features some of the Bugatti execs being given some mic time to wish Simon a happy 40th birthday and if you can put two and two together, this one-off Veyron Super Sport appears to be a birthday present that the birthday boy bought for himself.
Hey, if we had that kind of money, we’d probably splurge it on a one-off model of a supercar that produces 1,200 horsepower and can hit a top speed of 268 mph. Unfortunately, it’s going to take us a couple of lifetimes to be able to sniff a Veyron, much less a one-off model of the Super Sport.
Guess we’ll just have to settle for gift certificates to Red Lobster then.
The globe-trotting trio from Top Gear have been spotted in more places around the world than Waldo himself. Recently, Jeremy Clarkson and James May were spotted in Beijing, China filming a segment for the 18th season of the show and from what the photos are telling us, it appears that the duo - minus Richard Hammond, from what it looks like - have been spending some time in the Far East getting acquainted to some of the locally-produced cars in China.
From what we’ve been told, the duo have a long list of Chinese cars to run around with, including, but not limited to a JAC sedan, a Greatwall Hover M2, a Greatwall Coolbear, a Geely China Dragon, and a BYD F0, among other things.
Those cars really don’t mean that much to us because you’d be hard-pressed to find one running around American soil. Nevertheless, the segment should make for an informative look at the burgeoning Chinese automotive market.
And who better to give us the unfiltered lowdown than Clarkson and May.